Eating Before a Big Game

By Helen DeMarco, M.S., R.D.

Morning Events

The night before, eat a high-carbohydrate meal. Early morning, eat a light breakfast or snack: cereal and non-fat milk, fresh fruit or juice, toast, bagel or English muffin, pancakes or waffles, non-fat or low-fat fruit yogurt, or a liquid pre-event meal.

Afternoon Events

Eat a high-carbohydrate meal both the night before and for breakfast. Follow with a light lunch: salads with low-fat dressings, turkey sandwiches with small portions of turkey, fruits, juice, low-fat crackers, high-carbohydrate nutritional bars, pretzels, rice cakes

Evening Events

Eat a high-carbohydrate breakfast and lunch, followed by a light meal or snack: pasta with marinara sauce, rice with vegetables, light-cheese pizza with vegetable toppings, noodle or rice soups with crackers, baked potato, frozen yogurt .

No one food or group of foods works for everybody; the person may need to experiment to find which foods, and the amount of food, that works best. Food choices may vary based on the type of exercise, as well as the intensity and duration of the exercise. However, it is important to experiment with new foods during training rather than around competition.